The Value of Memorizing Scripture

If you have been visiting my blog for awhile, it will be no surprise to you that I have a passion for memorizing Scripture.  I have not done this perfectly. I have not been as consistent as I would have liked to have been over the years.  I have struggled with reviewing and retaining what I have memorized. I am a firm believer that something is better than nothing, so I keep plugging away at it.  

There are times in my life when the value of this practice is given a spotlight by the Lord.  When this happens, it motivates me to keep memorizing.  My recent circumstances were one of those spotlight moments.

These pandemic days are unlike any other time in my life.  I recently returned stateside to be with my daughter during her surgery and recovery. The last couple of weeks were a whirlwind of activity with packing bags, saying final goodbyes and trying to meet all the requirements necessary for Japan to allow me to enter the country.  It was all very nerve-racking and I must confess that there were times that I was feeling quite anxious about it all.

It was in those anxious moments that the Lord would flood my mind with Scriptures that I have memorized in the past.  Verses about His presence, His love and His power. Verses that reminded me that if I had to do my quarantine in a hotel in Tokyo alone instead of at home, He was still in control.  I would not be alone.

One particular passage that I have been reviewing during this time is Psalm 91.  I memorized it last year with an online group when the pandemic began.  Recently, the Lord brought some of the verses to my mind during one of my more anxious moments.  I decided to pull out the card with the verses on it and review it everyday until my departure. I also reviewed it on the plane when I was on my way.  I can’t tell you the peace that those verses brought to my heart and mind.  It was a peace that passes all understanding.  

If hiding God’s Word in your heart has not been a part of your life, I would like to encourage you to begin now. You will not be disappointed.  God will honor any effort no matter how small. 

If you would like some more encouragement or information about this spiritual discipline please refer to 31 Days of Scripture Memory or click on the tab in the header.  Comment below and let me know that you want to get started and I will pray for you.  If you already are a memorizer, what are you working on?  What motivates you to keep working?  Let’s encourage one another!

An Update and A New Bible Memory Project

I have safely returned to Japan.  There were a lot of requirements, but I was able to meet them all.  I thank the Lord that the final step of another cov1d* test upon landing was negative.  I was permitted to go home for my 14 day quarantine.  I couldn’t use public transportation or take a domestic flight, so my husband picked me up in Tokyo and we made the 5 hour trip home.  It was a long trip with little sleep.  One of the blessings of a quarantine is that I can catch up one some much needed rest…maybe!  HA!  I tend to try to play catch up on things, but I am trying to slow down a little.

My daughter has fully recovered from her surgery and we are amazed at what God has done.  Thank you to those who prayed!

This is also a good time for me to start a new memory project.  I was praying about what that should be when my favorite online memory group announced their latest project.  If you are interested in participating, please click on the button below.  As a disclaimer:  I do not participate in Lent, but there is value in memorizing Scripture.  I hope you will join us!

*This misspelling is deliberate. I have been flagged on other sites when I use that word, so I am trying to avoid that. I also don’t want that little pop-up that often arises when that word is used.  Thank you for your understanding.

Looking for a Scripture Memory Project?

Do Not Depart is starting a new project Monday, September 6th. They will be memorizing Matthew 7:1-14.  You can sign up here. They also have resources available to help you and a facebook group for encouragement.  In the past, the group has memorized Matthew 5 and 6.  This will conclude The Sermon on the Mount.  I have participated in the Matthew 5 and 6 project, but I have decided to sit this one out.  I may come back to it at a later date. Our church here in Japan has been memorizing Revelation 21 and 22 this year.  It has been such a blessing to me personally. I did well and kept up with everyone on chapter 21, but I a struggling with chapter 22. I want to finish it!!  I don’t feel like I can add another project to the mix right now.  I will continue to participate in the facebook group for encouragement.

I am also working on being more consistent with review.  I am currently reviewing Romans 8.  While setting  up a review system and beginning to work it was time-consuming, I find that I am getting a rhythm going.  It is not taking as much time now and I can do it while doing other things such as getting ready in the morning or cooking a meal.

Let me know if you decide to sign up for this project or another project that you are working on.  Let’s encourage one another!!

Psalm 91

The group memorizing Psalm 91 at Do Not Depart is finished according to the schedule.  I am still working on it.  I’ve been struggling with the last few verses.  I’ve also been struggling with the meaning behind some of the verses.  We know that God allows pain and suffering to those who love Him, so what does He mean when He says, “No evil shall come nigh thy dwelling.”  I have done some study on my own, read my study Bible notes and notes in a commentary.

You may remember that I have been pretty much confined to a chair due to a recent injury.  Today I took the time to go back and read the posts that were written about each week’s memory verses.  I would encourage you to do that even if you didn’t memorize the chapter.  They were such a blessing to me and gave me much to think about.  We live in such tumultuous times.  God is our peace.  It is my prayer that we will all run to Him for protection.

Here are a few of the most thought-provoking statements in those blog posts to me.  I wanted to write them out for my future reference and thought I would share them with you.  If you read the posts or have been meditating on Psalm 91, please share some of your thoughts in the comments so we can encourage one another.  I linked to each post in the Bible reference.

Psalm 91:1-2, “Regardless of the devastation that the coronavirus threatens us with, we can rest assured that if we stay in our shelter, once the storm passes, our souls will have survived.

And we will still be with God. Together.

He’ll help us pick up the pieces and put our lives back together. Then, as now, He will remain our refuge, our fortress, our God.

In Him we can trust.”

Psalm 91:3-4, “The mouse had taken the bait. And lost his battle.

We, however, don’t have to take the bait of worrying, of panicking, of complaining. We can go higher. Call for help. Avoid the traps.

God knows where our traps have been set, and if we’ll shelter in His nest, we will be safe. He’s got this. Let’s let him fight this one for us.

Count on His faithfulness.
Trust His goodness.
Rest in His love.”

Psalm 91:5-6, “We have a safe place in Jesus, despite our vulnerability in the world.

Ultimately, vulnerability isn’t our weakness. It’s our opportunity—to run to safe refuge in God.

It’s in God’s shelter that we are finally safe.”

Psalm 91:7-8, “While our bodies are just as susceptible to destruction as any other, our souls are not as susceptible. They are protected.

Our immunity doesn’t rest in the physical (although God can still perform miracles there also). Our advantage comes in the peace of God’s presence in us and around us.”

Psalm 91:9-10, “By trusting in God as our refuge, we not only are protecting ourselves, we’re also protecting those ‘near our tent.’

God’s protection ripples out.

When you stay close to God, others around you also benefit by His shade.”

Psalm 91:11-12, ” He doesn’t always stop the catastrophe from happening to us in the physical realm…Even when we can’t see God, He sees us. We are always on His mind and always in His works.”

Psalm 91:13-14, “Getting to know God more doesn’t have to be complicated. But you do need to consciously choose it.

Loving God more means spending more time with Him, being more aware of His presence, learning more who He is, talking with others about Him, talking more in person with Him.

The more you know God, the more you’ll love God. You’ll then hold on to Him in love because you want to, not from guilt or fear or obligation.

You’ll know Him by name.”

Psalm 91:15-16, “We often don’t see the gifts. Our blindness causes us to miss out on God’s good gifts.”

I think, perhaps, the fact of God’s presence is the dearest truth to me next to His love.  It is something that I dwell on continually. God reminds me of it when I don’t. This psalm is full of reminders of His presence.

Thank you, Lisa, for allowing the Lord to use you in this way.  The time spent in this psalm was exactly what my sore, anxious, weary heart needed.

Scripture Memory Thoughts

There has been one good thing about this whole lockdown due to Covid-19.  Well, I can actually think of several good things, but there is one in particular that I want to  talk with you about.  I have been diligently working at Scripture memory.  During furlough, I have to confess that I was a little lax.  If I’m totally, 100% honest, I’ve been lax for sometime.  I am always working at it, but there are times when I am more diligent than others.

As I age, my brain doesn’t seem to retain things as it did before.  I used to be able to go a work meeting, jot down a few notes, return to my desk and type out verbatim what was said and who said it.  Not any more.

Recently as I was struggling with a chapter that I was reviewing, I was getting pretty frustrated with myself.  I had worked so hard to memorize that chapter, but I just couldn’t retain it and the new chapter that I was learning.  I could say it with first letter prompts, but saying it without that was impossible.  Then something dawned on me.

If I do the work of memorizing, God is able to bring it to my remembrance when I need it.  I’ve seen Him do it in the past and I know that He can do it again.  John 14:26 says, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”  I know the context is not Scripture memory, but Jesus is saying that the Comforter will bring His words back to our minds.

This is such a comfort to me.  So I keep plugging away and do my best to hide God’s Word in my heart.  I will depend on Him to bring it to my mind when I need it to be there.  He is able.

Worth the Read

Scripture memory is something that has been life-changing for me. It has been an important part of my walk with the Lord.  Lately, I find myself floundering.  I came across some great posts that have been so helpful to me with this, so I wanted to share them with you.

If you have any tips for Scripture memory, please comment so that we can encourage one another!

What? Me Memorize Scripture?

“Don’t give up on Scripture memory before you’ve even tried. You can do it and the effort is more than worth it.”

When Memorizing Isn’t Fun Anymore?

But what do you do when the fire has gone out? Perhaps you can remember a time when memorizing Scripture was the highlight of your day. Your zeal for God’s Word was a bright flame that consumed your heart. But now, for some unexplainable reason, that flame has been reduced to an ember. The sad and simple truth is that you just don’t feel like memorizing anymore.

If this describes your experience, don’t be discouraged! Generations of memorizers can relate to your struggle.”

The Bible Is On My Phone, So Why Memorize?

“Nothing in your pocket, however convenient on good days, can compare with the nearness of God’s Word in your heart on bad days!”

When You Don’t Know What to Say, Say This

This article was perhaps the most helpful to me during this slump. So many times we don’t know what to say or what to pray for with someone, but we can always pray Scripture that we have memorized!!

Growing in Our Relationship with the Lord

One of the challenges I faced when moving to the field was the lack of accountability and companionship around the Word.  In the states, I was involved in a small group Bible study.  I had a Bible memory accountability partner.  I had “iron sharpening iron” relationships.  When I moved to the field, those all went away.  On top of that, vocabulary cards started to replace Bible memory cards.  Instead of spare minutes spent in communion with the Lord, those spare minutes were spent studying for language school.  

To read more, click here.

*I posted this photo on Instagram several weeks ago.  Furlough is such a challenging time to find quiet space.  I grab it where and when I can!

From Around the Web…

Furlough is still progressing and we are moving into our even busier season.  Fall is the time of year that a lot of churches like to have missionaries for conferences and meetings.  We will be doing lots of traveling so would appreciate your prayers for safety on the highway and good health.

I have read some things recently that have been very thought-provoking and I thought I would share them here with you.  If there is something you’ve read recently, leave a link in the comments below.  I would love to read and share.

A Tale of Two Teachers-“Women of God, I plead with you to pursue wisdom. I plead with you to put down the girl power self help book and pick up your Bible. Your life depends on it. Your children don’t need empowered mom. They need humble, god-fearing mom. Our world needs women who look not like our ‘truest selves,’ but like Jesus Christ. This will not happen outside of making a decision to dig in our heels, draw a line in the sand and declare that we are going after God.”

Sunday Afternoon Tea – Why I find decorating to be important to the soul-“What if we can no longer do everything we once enjoyed?  If we wait for perfect circumstances, they never arrive.”

Discover How to Memorize Psalm 1 in Community-Are you looking for a Bible memory project.  Here is a great one you can do in community.  I’ve memorized this before, so I am taking this time to review it.

Have a blessed day!

*the sunset photo was taken in SC during our travels

This and That

I’ve been doing a whole lot of housekeeping at home and here at the blog.  This has been a month of stepping back, catching my breath and planning for the future.

I’ve updated my list of books read in 2018.  I also started a page for books read in 2019.  I’ve never been one to share a list like this on my blog.  I get many of my recommendations of books to read from other bloggers, so thought I would share in case you may looking for recommendations yourself.  If you look at the list for 2019, you will notice that they are all fiction at the moment.  I am currently reading four non-fiction books.  I am almost done with a couple of them.  It takes me a little longer to get through those as I meditate on what I am reading.  I am also taking notes on two of them.  They are so good, I don’t want to forget as I am prone to do.  I will share them with you when finished.

Do Not Depart is starting a new Bible memory project.  I encourage you to join in.  They also have a Facebook group that is great for encouragement.  Our church has taken on a rather ambitious Bible memory project this year, so I won’t be joining in on this one.  I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with the church project and continuing with reviewing some of my other projects.  I keep repeating to myself that “something is better than nothing.”

Have a blessed day.  Until the next time…